Moral theories are related with the study of psychology of moraldevelopment. these theories are based on reasoning and motivation byindividuals with regards to moral dilemmas.THEORIES OF MORALDEVELOPMENT
Kohlberg’s theory Kohlberg’ theory is an adaptation of psychological theory. It is based on the foundation that morality is a form of reasoning that develops in structural stages in life. This theory holds that moral reasoning is the basis for ethical behavior. In other , it is known as theory of cognitive development.
The three stages of moraldevelopment . • Pre-conventionalLevel .1 • conventionalLevel.2 • Post- conventionalLevel.3
Pre-conventional stage At this level the child is responsive to cultural rules and labels of good and bad. He interprets right or wrong in terms of either the physical consequences of action. In this stage there is sub-rules as 1.Obedience and punishment orientation • How can I avoid punishment ? 2.Self interest orientation • What is in it for me ?
Conventional stage In this level the moral thinking and behavior of the individual are determined by the standards of the family, community, and society. This stage also has two sub-rules, 1.Inter personal accord and conformity • Good boy/ good girl attitude 2.Authority and social order orientation • Law and order morality.
Post- conventional stage In this level the individual is not guided by pressures from the society or by selfish needs, but is guided by strong principles and convictions alone. They live by general principles and they have a strong desire to maintain the moral integrity. They set for themselves a moral code of conduct.
Post conventional stage Has another two sub-rules as, 1.Social contract orientation 2.Universal ethical principles • That is principled conscience.
Criticism on Kohlberg‘stheory 1. kohl berg theory is concerned with moral thinking. But there is big difference between knowing what we ought to do versus our actual actions. 2.kohlberg seems to be biased to women because his samples was white men in privileged class and he was emphasizing on moral reasoning. factors such as compassion , caring, and other interpersonal feelings was not considered. 3.kohlberg overemphasized on western philosophy. Eastern cultures may have different moral outlooks which he does not account for.
Carol Gilligans theory She was a research asst: of Kohlberg. Her criticism was presented in the book” in a different voice: psychological theory and women’s development” in 1982. Her theory is divided into three stages of moral development.
Level 1. pre conventional. In the first level moral reasoning is based entirely around what is best for one’s self. [selfish stage] Goal is individual survival.
Level 2. conventional A girl or woman in the second stage make decisions based on a sense of goodness as well as self sacrifice. women will not hurt others and will sacrifice their own interests in order to help others.
Level 3.post conventional In the third and most sophisticated stage of feminine moral reasoning women valued truth as well as self sacrifice. In this stage women are able to reason through consequences and the impact that one’s action has on others. Thus Gilligan stresses the importance of maintaining personal relationships based on mutual caring.
Consensus and controversy Literally consensus means agreement and controversy means disagreement. When an individual exercise moral autonomy there may arise a difference in the practical application of moral autonomy by different individuals . This can cause a controversy. Moral disagreements are natural and common. so in order to allow disagreement, tolerance is required amongst individuals which have the elements of reasonable and responsible thinking.
Normative ethics or thetheory of right action. Normative ethics is concerned with how we ought to live and act. A normative theory of right action is an attempt to say what it is for an action to be morally permissible, obligatory or wrong. A normative theory of the good life is an attempt to say what it is for a human to live well. A theory of social justice is a normative theory of how a society should be structured and how goods ,liberties, and power be allocated in a society.
Self interest, customs andreligion Self interest is valuating oneself in morally appropriate ways. Valuing oneself is important to find the right meaning in one’s life and work. Self esteem and self respect are closely related. Self esteem is a psychological concept .it refers to the virtue of valuing oneself properly. Just as we have to respect others for their integrity and other good qualities ,so too we must value ourselves and respect self. Just as we respect other’s rights , so to we must be aware of our own rights. Self respect is connected to all other major virtues like integrity, dignity, self control, courage, and good judgment.
Customs and ethicalrelativism Customs play a vital role in deciding one’s moral values. Relativism is a position that all points of view are equally valid and the individual determine what is relative and true for him. Relativism theorizes that truth is different for different people, not simply that different people believe different things to be true.
Ethical relativism This slogan explains the theory better, what is right for you may not be right for me. no moral principles are true for all people at all times and at all places. what’s right for one’s culture won’t necessarily be right for anothers culture. Ethical relativism represents that there are no moral absolutes , no moral right or wrong. morals evolve and change with social systems over a period. This philosophy allows people to transform ethically as the culture, knowledge and technology change in society.
Religion and divine commandethics Moral values have a deep connection and influence of religion and its beliefs. The main social function of religion is to motivate right action and right thoughts. The main personal function of religion is to sustain peoples convictions to promote tolerance and moral concern for others. Religion help people to set a higher moral standard than the normal standard.
Uses of ethical theories Ethical theories are very important and useful in many ways to a human being. Ethical theories are helpful in understanding and solving moral dilemmas. Ethical theories are useful in justifying professional obligations and ideals. Ethical theories are useful in expressing everyday moral experience and justifying the professional morality.
Resolving moral dilemmas The ethical theories are useful in resolving moral dilemmas in the following ways: 1. helps to identify the various courses of action and to provide a systematic framework for comparing the alternatives. 2.Provides framework for development of moral arguments. 3.Helps to strengthen ones ability to reach a balanced and more appropriate judgment for a given situation. 4.ethical theories are very useful in justifying the general obligations of engineers, in safety related matters, and others in technological developments.
Everyday morality Morality requires each individual to reflect regularly on the day to day decisions that confront them and the manner in which people treat one another. Moral behavior is concerned primarily with the interpersonal dimension of our behavior, how we treat one another individually and in a group, and increasingly other species and the environment. How many times have we asked ourselves” is that the way I should treat someone?, is the way that someone should treat me?”. As we have the ability to be critical of our interpersonal behavior, we also have the ability to develop codes and norms to guide that behavior.
Exercise for everydaymorality Did I Did I do Did I treat Did Did practice any harm people anything anything any virtue to with happened happened today? anybody respect today in today in today? today? society for society for good ? bad ?In homeIn workIn society
Relating professional andordinary morality. To understand the relationship between everyday moralities to the professional moralities let us consider the four views concerning the origin and justification of safety and other obligations of engineers.
First view Professionals obtain moral obligations concerning safety through some laws or enforces codes that require them to be obligated. Safety and Environmental ISO 9000 health hazards act STANDARDS act
SECOND VIEW Professionals obtain special obligations by becoming members of a professional society and thereby following that society’s code of ethics. Textile association of India [TAI] ENGINEERS INDIA ICWAI,MCI etc:
Third view Professionals obtain safety obligations through the contractual agreements by which they are hired by their employers.
Fourth view Professionals while entering into their careers implicitly assure the public to protect and safeguard them in the course of performing their roles.
Engineering asexperimentation It is understood that an engineer is constantly exposed to risks even though he is not innovating anything. New hazards could be found in products, processes, and materials that were once thought to be safe. Engineering is regarded as a social experimentation because it affects or influences on the cultural and social systems of human society.
experimentation During the course of an engineering career, he is constantly involved in research or the testing of new products. Especially during the design phase one needs to apply various experimental procedures . There may many uncertainties at each stage . But engineers cannot afford to delay the project until all information regarding the project is received and studied in detail. So engineering is work, project, or an activity and is considered as an experiment.
The general responsibilitiesof engineers to society: Engineers are primarily technical facilitators, rather than social experimenters. the other unique responsibility of an engineers includes monitoring projects, identifying risks and providing to customers and clients the required information to make practical decisions. While exercising engineering duties, the engineers should show the virtue of being morally responsible persons.
General features of morallyresponsible engineers There are four characteristics of morally responsible engineers, from the view of engineering as social experimentation. 1.responsibility. 2.conscientiousness. 3.moral autonomy. 4.accountability.
responsibility An engineers responsibility is shared with management , public and others. The primary responsibility of an engineer is to protect the safety of human beings. Constant awareness of the experimental nature of any project , imaginative forecasting of its side effects and a reasonable ability to monitor it. Personal involvement in all projects. Accepting accountability for the progress and the results of the project.
conscientiousness Conscientiousness implies scientific consciousness. To be aware and to recognize a situation , its consequences and determine all those who are involved and will be affected. Being sensitive to moral values and responsibilities , which are relevant in a given situation. Act as guardians in public interest. Engineers have to guard the welfare and safety of those affected by engineered projects. Show moral concern that involves a commitment to obtain and properly assess all information related to meeting one’s obligations.
Moral autonomy Moral autonomy is the ability to think independently and critically about moral issues and apply this moral thinking to situations that arise during professional practice. As an experimenter an engineer has to undergo constant training to maintain his identity as an engineer. When there is a threat to an engineers moral autonomy he can look for moral support from the professional bodies and outside organizations.
accountability Accountability means being responsible, liable, and answerable. Involves accepting moral responsibility for actions and presenting morally convincing reasons for one’s actions. Being willing to submit one’s actions to moral scrutiny and be responsive to others actions.
Code of ethics Codes of ethics are propagated by various professional societies to provide codes of conduct and guidelines that are specific for a group of professionals. These guidelines help the professionals to perform their roles in a professional manner. It helps them to resolve ethical issues. These codes also convey the duties, rights and responsibilities of the members of the profession.
What are code of ethics? Code of ethics provide the basic framework for judgment for a professional. It is an agreed upon standards for professional conduct. It also defines the roles and responsibilities of professionals. Code of ethics creates an environment within a profession where ethical behavior is the norm.
Principles of ethics These are based on five canons: 1. INTEGRITY 2. COMPETENCE 3. INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY 4. PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY 5. HUMAN CONCERNS.
Positive role of codes ofethics The codes of ethics as propagated by the professional bodies play a variety of roles: 1. Inspiration. 2. Guidance. 3. support for responsible conduct. 4. discouraging and disciplining professional unethical conduct. 5. contributing to positive public image. 6. education and promotion of mutual understanding.
Promotion of ethics The specific ways in which engineering societies can promote ethics are as follows: 1. engineering societies could promote ethics by establishing awards for engineers who show commendable ethical conduct. 2.engineering societies could educate people about new technologies. 3. engineering societies could protect engineers who discharge their duties honestly and upholding high ethical principles. 4.they could investigate charges of wrong doing by members because of malice or false information.